Scandal in Oz — alarmism rejected

03/29/2012
“Like many working couples, Anne and Russell Secombe decided to find a place by the sea where they would eventually retire to live out the rest of their lives pursuing simple pleasures. In the 1970s, the couple, now in their 80s, found it, a modest single-level brick house at 23 Illaroo Rd, Lake Cathie, a town on the NSW mid-north coast.  …

It’s simple bliss: Anne, a retired clerk, spends time keeping up her neat garden; Russell, a retired mechanic, angles on the beach for blackfish, flathead and bream. But yesterday the Secombes’ sense of hard-earned stability collapsed when they discovered they could be among the first victims in Australia to be dispossessed of their home. Not because of any existing environmental threat, but because the local council believes climate change could pose one by the end of the century.

In a move that struck incredulity, alarm and fear among locals, Port Macquarie Hastings Council put a study on the council website recommending that council enforce a “planned retreat” for the owners of the 17 houses on Illaroo Road. The area is one of 15 “hot spots” identified by the NSW government as being vulnerable to the effects of sea level rises due to climate change, as outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  …

Illaroo Road is about 7m above mean sea level, so there’s no danger of flooding.  …

Council’s action has reduced property values on Illaroo Road by between a third and a half, according to local observers.”

Fighting on the beaches as council orders retreat from climate change ‘threat’

“Home owners in the NSW town of Lake Cathie appear likely to escape an eviction order recommended by a consultant’s report that calls for a “planned retreat” from a predicted rise in sea levels, as the O’Farrell government is expected to discard the alarmist climate change predictions of its Labor predecessor.  …

The developments follow revelations in The Weekend Australianon Saturday that the consultants employed by the council, SMEC, had recommended the council buy out 17 homes on Illaroo Road based on predictions by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – and adopted by the previous Labor government – of a sea-level rise of 40cm by 2050 and 90cm by the turn of the century.  …

Mr Porter’s decision that he will work to save the Lake Cathie houses comes as the NSW Coalition government appears likely to determine that the coastal management strategy of the previous Labor government is unrealistic.  …

SMEC’s report made clear that even given the direst climate change and sea-level rise predictions, with Illaroo Road being 7m above mean sea level, “overtopping and coastal inundation are not an issue”.”

Seafront residents in nothern NSW saved from eviction

The horror

01/11/2012

“[C]ostumed demonstrators marched from the Occupy encampment in downtown New York City to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hearing in Greenwich Village. “The whole world is watching!” one demonstrator shouted. The hearing was about Spectra Energy’s plan to build a 30-inch natural-gas pipeline from New Jersey to the lower west side of Manhattan, via Staten Island. Though the streets of Manhattan have been piped for gas since 1825, anti-fracking activists and public officials told the FERC hearing that a new source of natural gas meant trouble: possible radioactivity, terrorism, pollution, accidents, and explosions. Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer warned that the pipeline could be used to transmit natural gas from fracked wells in Pennsylvania.  …

[T]hat anti-fracking demonstrator in Manhattan was wrong. The whole world isn’t watching. What the whole world is doing is fracking.”  “Shale Game

Delusional

01/07/2012

“This failure [by alarmists] to connect with the public is already having a dire effect on political will to deal with the [non-] problem. How should they do things differently?  …

Scientists and environmentalists need to place a greater emphasis on the economic dangers of not dealing with the [non-] problem: household bills will rise exorbitantly if we don’t invest in alternative energy; dealing with disruptive climate change will cost us billions and drive up food prices across the world.  …

Half the population doesn’t need more convincing – it’s the other half that isn’t susceptible to traditional [doomsday] messages.

This means talking about the potential for future innovation, that countries like China and India are investing billions into alternative energy as a key future technology, and how it offers us security from war and disease and a better standard of living.”  “The climate change message is not being heard. Here’s how to change tack

Polar bear price increase

01/04/2012

“Just as Ottawa is drawing up polar bear management plans and mulling the animal’s promotion to National Symbol, the Northwest Territories is now paying an extra $1,350 for polar bear hides.

Hunters in the Northwest Territories used to receive $400 when they submitted polar bear pelts to Genuine Mackenzie Valley Furs, a government-run fur marketer. For this season, authorities have upped the figure to $1750.  …

As Russia and China produce more billionaires, offices and homes bedecked in Arctic fur have become a sought-after status symbol. Threats to polar bear populations posed by melting sea ice have only sweetened the deal.  …

Every year, about 450 polar bears are killed and skinned in Canada — largely by Inuit hunters in Nunavut. Northwest Territories officials maintain that their new advance will not create a run on polar bears.  …

In Canada, polar bear hunting is the exclusive domain of aboriginals, although outsiders can commission sport hunts with aboriginal guides. While pelts are sold, the polar bear’s meat is shared among communities. Polar bear hunting is an “integral part of Inuit identity,” reads a July paper on polar bear populations by the Department of the Environment.  …

Amid the threat of melting sea ice, Mr. [Andrew E.] Derocher [a biologist with the University of Alberta] said researchers rarely take issue with polar bear hunting. “I don’t know a polar bear scientist that hasn’t support subsistence harvests of polar bears — or even sport hunting of polar bears,” he said.”  “N.W.T. ups price paid for polar bear pelts to $1,750 as demand for the fur rises

Scandal in Oz, Part 2

12/08/2011

“It is not climate change that is threatening the coastal towns of Australia.

It’s exaggerated predictions of rising sea levels that are slashing property values, driving away small businesses and making residents tear out their hair.  …

Gosford Council is “prepared to write off 9000 families…by introducing draconian development controls that ultimately are designed to turn all of Davistown & half of Woy Woy and Empire Bay into derelict suburbs,” says [Pat] Aiken [secretary of Coastal Residents Incorporated].

Coastal councils stacked with risk-averse dupes and green agitators have been imposing ad hoc restrictions on development near the water in anticipation of catastrophic sea inundation by the end of this century, as promised by the likes of Al Gore and Tim Flannery.  …

The council was promoting a policy called a “reactive management strategy” which [homeowner Stephen] Hunt describes as “a hideous policy that gives the council and state government the power to turn off the utilities within the street and force landowners to walk away from their properties without any financial compensation”.  …

Similarly, in Port Albert, Victoria, residents claimed property prices fell 38 percent after the local council enacted absurd planning laws requiring new houses to be built 1.5m above the ground to avoid rising sea levels, while requiring roof heights to remain the same. This prompted angry residents to complain their houses would be suitable only for pygmies.  [see Higher floors, lower roofs: the town being shrunk by climate change angst]  …

[S]imilar nonsense continues up and down the east coast, with each township having to mount a defence against the catastrophists. With wildly varying predictions of sea level rises as high as 75m coming from NASA, the IPCC and experts such as Flannery, councils were opting for the extreme precautionary principle.”  “We must see level heads or our coast is doomed

Scandal in Oz

12/08/2011

“Amid exaggerated predictions that sea levels would rise by 75m, [coastal engineer Doug] Lord made the career-ending mistake of actually measuring the sea level and trying to publish the results.

This caused him to be “let go” from his government job and have peer-reviewed scientific papers pulled at the last minute from a conference in Shanghai last year, from a conference in Perth in September and from a journal where they were to be published this year.

Not only that, but he was banned by his bosses at the NSW environment department from representing Engineers Australia, whose national coastal committee he chaired, at a 2009 parliamentary inquiry into managing climate change.  …

With colleague Phil Watson, Lord examined 110-year tide gauge records from Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour, and other sites. They found the sea level was rising at less than 1mm a year …

In 2009 Watson published the results, putting the lie to [then Minister for Climate Change and Water] Penny Wong’s claims sea level rises would wipe out beaches and hundreds of metres of coastline. “The analysis reveals a consistent trend of weak deceleration at each of these gauge sites throughout Australasia over the period from 1940 to 2000,” he wrote in the Journal of Coastal Research.  …

This was an inconvenient truth to governments who were busy beefing up climate risk assessments at the time. The federal government predicted a sea level rise of 1.1m by 2100. NSW came up with 0.9m.

But Lord’s data showed they had exaggerated the rise by 1000 per cent. His measurement of 1mm a year gives you a sea level rise of no more than 90mm [~ 3.5 inches], (0.09m) by 2100.  …

Last year, Lord and Watson were banned from presenting three papers they had prepared for the International Conference on Coastal Engineering in Shanghai.

“(At the time) the government was finalising its sea level rise policy,” he said. “I was told [the department] wouldn’t support the three papers because they weren’t consistent with the policy that was being developed.”

By this stage, Lord had lost his job, after a departmental “restructure”.

Nevertheless, he and Watson wrote another paper, which was peer-reviewed and approved for publication in the journal of Australian Civil Engineering Transactions. In September, just before publication, the department refused Watson, still an employee, permission to publish.

Then a conference paper the two men were to present at a Coasts and Ports conference in Perth was pulled.”  “Tide rises against climate lies

Climate model output is now "data"

08/16/2011

Both [Seth] Wenger [a fisheries researcher with Trout Unlimited in Boise] and [Dan] Isaak, a fisheries biologist at the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station in Boise, were a part of a team of 11 scientists who said trout habitat could drop by 50 percent over the next 70 years because of a warming world. The paper, published Monday in the peer-reviewed science journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, predicts native cutthroat habitat could decline by 58 percent.

The two men, who have devoted their lives to scientific research, say they depend on the scientific method and peer review to judge the quality of the research that underscores their findings. The climate predictions are based on 10 of the 20 climate models developed independently worldwide that all show the world is getting warmer.

The climate models have been right for 30 years and they are getting better all the time,” Isaak said.  …

The most dire climate models show temperatures in Idaho rising an average of 9 degrees in 70 years, Wenger said.  …

“I have to set aside my feelings and use the best data,” he said.  …

But what if all the climate models are wrong?

There just is not a lot of data supporting the alternative view,” Wenger said.  “Idaho trout face climate trouble, study finds

EPA madness rolls on

07/15/2011

“What happens if the government mandates the consumption of a product that doesn’t exist? Naturally, the Environmental Protection Agency has decided to punish the gasoline refiners because they can’t buy a type of alternative fuel that no one is making. Consumers will be punished too.

The 2007 energy bill vastly increased the volume of corn ethanol that must be blended into gasoline, though it also included mandates for cellulosic ethanol.  …

The EPA set the 2011 standard at six million gallons. Reality hasn’t cooperated. Zero gallons have been produced in the last six months and the corner isn’t visible over the next six months either. The EPA has only approved a single plant to sell the stuff, … but it shut down its cellulosic operations earlier this year to work through technical snafus.

In its wisdom, Congress decided that some companies should be penalized if the targets aren’t met.  …  U.S. oil refiners that make gasoline … will end up buying six million cellulosic waivers by year’s end at $1.13 a pop. That’s $6.78 million in higher costs at the pump, in return for nothing.

That might not be much in the scheme of things, though late last month the EPA proposed a 2012 mandate that will fall somewhere between 3.55 million and 15.7 million gallons. Barring a miracle, cellulosic producers won’t hit even the lower end, refiners and the driving public will continue to pay for the mistake, and the mandate will continue to ratchet up annually. Perhaps the EPA can also find someone to tax for the lack of unicorns.”  “Cellulosic Ethanol and Unicorns

Trade war begins

06/24/2011

“China’s anger with the European Union’s emissions-trading scheme for airlines has delayed the revealing of a major Airbus deal and could undermine upcoming deals, according to people familiar with the situation.

Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., had expected to announce at the Paris Air Show this week that Hong Kong Airlines Ltd. ordered 10 of its A380 superjumbo jetliners, with a catalog value of almost $4 billion. The deal’s unveiling was put on ice by officials in Beijing, who must give final approval, these people said.

The Chinese government held off because it disapproves of the EU’s intention to regulate greenhouse emissions of foreign airlines operating to and from the 27-country bloc, according to the people close to the talks.  …

“The Chinese have told us directly that their airlines are not allowed to get into deals with Europe,” said a person close to the European side of the discussions.  …

China’s move appears to be the first retaliation against the EU program. China, the U.S., Russia and other countries have strongly objected to the plan.  …

EU officials have repeatedly said they won’t retreat on their program.”  “China Delays Unveiling Airbus Deal

Global warming in California

06/05/2011

“Spring passed California by, and summer remains in hiding.  …

A giant Sierra snowpack, still frozen fast, has put innumerable summer adventures on hold.  …

And it’s not over yet: Sacramento can expect as much as another 1.4 inches of rain this weekend and temperatures 20 degrees below normal, with more mountain snow.  …

One theory gaining traction is that climate change, in fact, may be to blame.

The theory was developed in several published papers by Judah Cohen, an atmospheric scientist in Massachusetts.  …

Colder and snowier winters caused by global warming? It may be one of the counterintuitive consequences of climate change, he said.

“We don’t understand everything, and we don’t understand how the different feedbacks affect different parts of the climate system,” said Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting at Atmospheric and Environmental Research, a private firm in Lexington, Mass. “It’s very complicated. So we should expect the unexpected.”  …

“The cooler weather is just not allowing the plants to grow like they should be,” [Jean Miller, assistant agricultural commissioner in Glenn County] said. “We have the possibility for diseases which we would not normally be having at this time of year, when it should be 80 or 90 degrees.”  …

The statewide snowpack stands at 262 percent of average. Rather than shrinking, as it normally would by this date, the snowpack has held steady and even grown deeper in places with new storms.  …

The state’s reservoirs are brim-full, yet the snowpack still has to melt. This could lead to flooding problems, especially on the San Joaquin and Kings rivers, said Rob Hartman, hydrologist-in-charge at the California-Nevada River Forecast Center, a branch of the National Weather Service.

The peak of spring snowmelt, Hartman said, is probably now delayed to late June or early July – at least a full month late.”  “Researcher says climate change may be cooling California